I’ve found my ways to make extra money through rental property and blogging, but there are tons more opportunities out there for people looking to make extra income. If you have a skill or hobby, there is a good chance you can get paid to do it. Even if you have little imagination and no time, there are easy ways to earn extra money.
Rent A Room In Your House
This might be the easiest way to earn extra money without very much work. You do have to give up some privacy, but taking on a renter is income from day one. Personally, I would not want a random person living in my home while my daughter is young, but we would consider it once we’re empty nesters. There are ways to find a good tenant if you don’t want to advertise to the general public.
You can offer a room to student interns or residents. When I was in my last year of optometry school, students had to do three month rotations in different cities throughout the year. It was almost impossible to find housing unless you had the money to live in a hotel or had relatives in the area. Luckily on one rotation, I found a lady who rented out bedrooms in her basement, exclusively to students. I believe it was something like $300 a month. I had my own room but shared a bathroom and kitchen with two other interns. I guess you could get a party person, but for the most part, medical students are pretty focused on their training and won’t even be home most of the time.
Another option is Americorps volunteers who have their housing costs covered through the program. I believe the ones in our area get $200 a month to use for rent. Student teachers, graduate students, or seasonal employees are also in need of a short term place to live. These renters might not be able to do a traditional lease, which means quick cash with the promise that they will be moving on soon, a plus if renting turns out not to be your cup of tea!
Haul Trash To The Dump
If you have access to a truck or trailer and don’t mind bad smells, you can make serious money hauling other people’s stuff to the dump. I don’t mean cleaning out a home belonging to a hoarder but simply taking away things that are too big or heavy for the garbage man. You’d have to charge enough to cover landfill fees, gas, plus profit, but people will gladly pay to get rid of stuff they don’t need.
In our first home, we had to replace a sliding glass door and were left with the broken one. At the time, we didn’t have a truck and paid $50 for someone to haul it away. I think there are lots of opportunities for this type work, especially when people are moving or when an older person passes away or has to move into assisted living.
Sell Your Skill To A Property Management Company
This one might not be easy because it requires some labor, but if you are skilled in any sort of property upkeep or repair, try offering your service to a property management company. This way you aren’t out hustling for clients or haggling for bids. You set your price per hour and take the jobs that work for your schedule.
Some management companies handle hundreds of properties. They are always in need of good, reliable cleaners, painters, repair people, and landscapers. Even if you just want to mow yards or clean carpets, there is plenty of work available, and you can probably do it after work or on the weekends so as not to interfere with a regular job. All it takes is one or two good projects to produce word of mouth referrals. Trust me, reliable service people are few and far between, so there is huge potential for extra income if you do quality work.
Teach A Class
I’m not talking about Algebra or Physics (unless that’s your forte!) but things like exercise, yoga, music, cake decorating, Quickbooks, anything you’re good at. Local non-profits, gyms, libraries, after school programs, or community colleges are always looking for qualified instructors.
I’ve been asked to teach medical terminology at the community college, and I know people who teach everything from horseback riding to zumba. If you are good at it, there is probably a way to get paid by teaching it to someone else.
Take a Seasonal Job
Because Jim has always worked in education, I know tons of teachers who take summer jobs to supplement their income. We live close to a Mesa Verde, so many of them work for the National Parks Service. I also know teachers who supervise swim lessons, pick up shifts at garden centers, or teach summer school. Even if you don’t get the summer off, with longer days and nicer weather, there are opportunities for regular 9-5 workers to take seasonal work to earn extra money.
While we all like to get paid, sometimes trading services is a great way to save money. It sounds awful, but trading children is a good example. I often take other kids to school or keep them on my days off so that I can call on other parents to pick my kid up when I have to work. That way none of us has to pay extra for child care.
If you like to work out, maybe you could teach a class in order to get a free gym membership. Savvy techies or social media butterflies could offer to design a website or do marketing for a particular business in exchange for products or services. When I used to own my practice, I almost never had anyone turn me down when I asked if they would like to barter. It’s usually a win win for both parties.
Things To Remember About Extra Income
While there really is no negative with earning extra income, if you don’t plan it could bite you in the butt come tax time. Always withhold about 30% of your extra income for taxes. Also, make sure side income doesn’t cost money in the form of losing an insurance subsidy or tax credit. If you make tons of money, that’s not a big deal because the extra income compensates for any loss in benefits, but if you make just enough to bump you into a higher bracket, it’s a hard call.
With any money from a regular job or side income, you really should pay close attention to what comes in and what goes out. Using a site like Personal Capital makes it really easy to keep track. You can always defer some of your income into an IRA or HSA if eligible. That way you can watch your extra money grow instead of wondering what you spent it on.
What skills have you turned into extra income? What’s the weirdest service you’ve ever seen someone get paid for?